Sunday, February 13, 2005

Radio Rant

Today's trivia question:

Besides being major players in Southern California music radio, what do these stations have in common?

KBIG (104.3FM)
KHHT "Hot 92.3" (92.3FM)
KIIS (102.7FM)
KOST (103.5FM)
KYSR "Star" (98.7FM)
KCBS "Arrow 93" (93.1FM)
KROQ (106.7FM)
KRTH (101.1FM)

The Answer:

They are ALL owned by just two companies!

That's right, with a few exceptions, Clear Channel Communications and Infinity Broadcasting have a virtual monopoly over rock/pop music on our airwaves here in So Cal.

While these huge entities have every right to make a buck, they do so at the expense of diversity, inventiveness and the very spirit of adventure that is responsible for creating great music in the first place.
The playlists of their stations are unchallenging, formulaic and predictable.

They do pull in ratings and obviously there is a market for what they have to offer. Just like there is for Big Macs. But for those who like their music a little more progressive, eclectic and cutting edge, Southern California music radio is all but unlistenable.

Now before you decide to shove knitting needles in your ears or spend all your money on satellite radio, there is hope on the horizon. Two recent additions to the So Cal radio scene are Indie 103.1 FM and FM949 at 94.9 FM. These stations refuse to focus on "flavor of the month" Blink 182 or Limp Bizkit sound-a-like bands.

Their more diverse playlist mix includes established artists like Elvis Costello, X, The Police and others along with newer, cutting edge bands. You might hear Green Day, The Killers and then Devo. Or Sonic Youth, The Strokes and then Gary Numan.

Their sound is more like free form, alternative rock radio. Kind of liike the way KROQ used to be back in the 80's. In fact, many of the bands that originally put KROQ on the map before KROQ dropped them from their playlist, can now be heard on Indie 103 and FM949.

The trick is, neither station has a super strong signal. They may be difficult to hear in some areas. On the upside, both Indie and 949 offer their programming via the internet. If you are near a computer, you can listen whenever you like. Here are the live streaming website links:

Indie 103


Give it a shot next time you are sick of "Big Mac" radio!

Happy Listening,

DJ Craig

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